Tourist arrivals during the first five months of this year increased 18.2 percent to 387,622 from 327,902 for the corresponding period last year; arrivals for the month of May increased 17.5 percent to 57,506 from 48,943.
Arrivals from North America increased 18.9 percent during the five months to 21,062 from 17,711, while leisure travellers from Latin America and the Caribbean increased 50.8 to 692 from 459.
Visitors from Western Europe increased 20 percent to 155,288 from 129,367, while arrivals from Eastern Europe Surged 43.4 percent to 28,573 from 19,919.
Arrivals from Africa increased 45.6 percent to 1,656 from 1,137, while tourists from Middle East increased 14 percent to 18,189 from 15,958.
Leisure travellers from East Asia increased 38.3 percent 47,721 from 34,504, while arrivals from South Asia increased 3.8 percent to 96,724 from
93,139. Tourists from Australasia surged 12.8 percent to 17,717 from 15,708.
At the current growth rate the government expects tourist arrivals to reach one million this year with a set target of 950,000.
Several major investments are taking place around the country to develop much needed capacity with government identified tourist zones contributing highly.
A bid has been submitted by the Sri Lanka promotion Bureau to the Asian Youth Games committee which the country hopes to host in 2017 promoting MICE tourism.
Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority changes focus from capacity development to entertainment development to promote tourism with 60 percent of the government allocated budget to be utilized on promotions.